Falling in Love with Poke Bowls

For those who don’t know, Poke (pronounced “poh-kay”) is a native Hawaiian dish of diced raw fish, usually in some sort of marinade.

For some, raw fish alone probably doesn’t seem appetising, but when whipped up in a salad-style bowl with an assortment of other flavours – trust me it’s to die for. Raw fish is also a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals – see more on the health benefits here.

I got onto the poke bowl trend after discovering a restaurant (Greenhouse Asian Salads), which does a brilliant poke bowl with tuna, black rice, soybeans, wasabi peas, and veggies.

I must have been going on about how much I loved the bowls, because a friend bought me a poke recipe book (probably to stop me from dragging her all about Sydney to taste different poke bowls). After trying a couple of the different combinations, I figured you basically need a protein, base, salad, marinade, and some toppings for extra taste. Here are my favourite combinations:

  1. Protein
    1. Diced Raw Tuna in Mayo
    2. Diced Raw Salmon in Soy Sauce
  2. Base
    1. Black Rice
    2. Quinoa
  3. Salad
    1. Shaved Carrots
    2. Green Papaya
    3. Roast Corn
    4. Edamame Beans
  4. Dressing
    1. Balsamic Glaze
    2. Roasted Sesame Dressing
    3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    4. Sesame Oil
  5. Toppings
    1. Wasabi Peas
    2. Seaweed Salad
    3. Dried Seaweed (Nori)
    4. Sesame Seeds

Each time I make a poke bowl I mix it up with a variation of the above! Let me know if you try it.

p.s. Here are some of my other favourite poke bowl spots:

xx

A café that only sells salads??? My verdict.

When mum said she wanted to take me out to a salad restaurant I immediately started devising ways I could politely decline.

The salads on restaurant menus are usually comprised of three basic ingredients (some dressing if you’re lucky), and its always the choice that makes everyone else at the table feel uncomfortable.

Greenhouse Asian Salads has just opened in Sydney and offers a range of exotic salads, which experiment with multiple ingredients such as green tea noodles, chicken wontons, green papaya, white sesame and more. For some reason, reading the menu, every single option seemed to have a mix of flavours that sounded absolutely mouth-watering.

I felt like being vegetarian for the day (since I’ve been on a bit of a meat-craze lately), and opted for the Green House #1, a vegan salad with tofu, green tea noodle, avocado, cucumber, carrot, red radish, cashews and sesame seeds. However, what really made it wonderful was the coconut soy dressing. This tied the whole dish together with a sweet tang that left me wanting more.

Mum went for the Naughty Tuna, which I tried (okay, maybe I wasn’t 100% vegetarian), and it was delicious – a mix of tuna, green tea noodles, edamame soybeans and cashews with wasabi dressing.

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Unexpectedly (I will admit) this café trumped a lot of dining places I’ve been to this year, many of which have menus that offer a range of wonderfully diverse dishes.

So, I’ll take back all my salad prejudices and highly recommend this very green, very healthy and VERY yummy lunch destination.

Let me know if you try it out!

xx

My 5 Go-to Healthy Snacks

Hey guys!

I’ve been trying to cut down (healthily) a little on what I eat recently, and I realised that I’ve been picking up weight because I’m constantly nibbling on different things in the pantry.

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So, to make sure I stay full throughout the day I have 5 go-to snacks in the fridge/food cupboard which are filling AND yummy.

These are:

  • Carrot sticks & Pilpel Hummous – carrot has to be my favourite veggie because of its sweetness, and Pilpel Hummous is my go-to because it has so much flavour but doesn’t have garlic in it (garlic upsets my stomach).
  • Dried fruit/nut mix – handful of pecans, pepitas, dried apricots, sultanas and walnuts. The fruits give you that sweet satisfaction and the nuts fill you up.
  • Apple & Carman’s Nut Bar – Carman’s does such a great range of healthy muesli bars, if your local supermarket stocks them I would definitely recommend checking them out. They are the perfect snack, and funnily enough I got up at 2am the other night because my stomach was rumbling, and a Carmen’s nut bar was the perfect fix to send me back to sleep.
  • Popcorn – try to avoid popcorns that are doused in butter, just plain corn kernels will do the trick.
  • My sugarless carrot/oatmeal cookies – they say ‘sugarless’ but don’t worry maple syrup and sultanas make them just as yummy as regular cookies.

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Sugarless Carrot/Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

I have been making batches of these for longer than I can remember because they are the perfect moreish snack, especially when I’m on the go.

You will need:

  1. 1 cup rolled oats
  2. 3/4 cup self-raising flour
  3. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  4. Sprinkle of salt
  5. 1/4 cup olive oil (be ready to add more in case your mixture is too dry)
  6. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1/2 cup sultanas
  8. 2 medium carrots grated
  9. 1/3 cup pepitas
  10. 2 tbsp maple syrup
  11. Handful of pecans (to decorate)

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Mix the oats, flour, cinnamon, salt, sultanas, grated carrots and pepitas together in a large bowl. Then, add the olive oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup and stir to combine. Add extra olive oil until the mixture is a perfect, doughy consistency. Whack in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes (or until golden brown) and voila! You’re done.

I hope you too can enjoy these great snacks. They are especially great if you are looking to maintain a healthy weight and want filling snacks that aren’t completely boring!

xx

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Kimono red for yummy, healthy Snacks

 

 

Fairytale Breakfast Destination

Bread & Circus Wholefoods Canteen combines fairytale and farmers market in Alexandria’s very own Foodie Warehouse. The cafe was just a 15 minute stroll from Erskineville station.

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Photo courtesy of http://breadandcircus.com.au/

This cafe gives a new meaning to flexitarian, with great brekkie and lunch options that let you unleash your inner vegetarian (with some cheats).

For breakfast, you can choose to indulge in biodynamic eggs flavoured with parmesan, herbs and truffle oil, or treat yourself to their must-have cardamom spiced banana bread. Each meal is around $20, but if you don’t want to break the budget you can get fluffy biodynamic essene bread with avo for $10.

For lunch you can discover roasted beetroot topped with warm goats cheese or keep an eye out for their ‘sandwich boxes’ with preservative free ham or grass-fed sustainable beef. The menu changes daily, so you’ll want to go back again (and again) for more.

Get your coffee fix with their blends that use beans from Columbia and Guatemala. Tea junkies are spoilt with an array of black and herbal delights, my favourite was the Himalayan Earl Grey.

The canteen has a dreamlike feel with its light wood benches and pastel pink walls, which are bountifully decorated with fresh fruits and veggies.

I went with a close friend, and it was the perfect cafe for brunch to catch up, so definitely make a date and enjoy this hidden gem.

xx

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Pastel pink to go with the theme of this sweet spot

The Perfect High Satiety Breakfast

Hey guys!

I have been working on this recipe for a while, trying out all different styles of breakfasts (muesli, toast, bacon & eggs, avo on toast, pancakes) to try and find a yummy, low calorie breakfast which is also very filling.

So here it is, the perfect breakfast to fill you up and keep you feeling good throughout the day:

  • 2 poached eggs cooked in 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 piece of multi-grain toast
  • Black tea with almond/soy/cows milk (or herbal tea e.g. peppermint)

This meal has healthy carbohydrate in the bread, good fat in the avocado, protein in the eggs, part of your daily dairy requirement in the tea and a touch of flavour with the tomatoes.

Don’t feel guilty about the eggs (if you’ve ever heard anything negative about them), they are one of the healthiest and filling foods you can eat.

To avoid getting tired of having the SAME meal every day (I change my mind about what I like, like my underwear), mix the meal up by replacing the egg with 50g of fish, such as tuna, trout or cooked salmon. Or, you can try different breads such as wholemeal, rye or sourdough. Or, if you are feeling like a bit more flavour you can add some mushrooms or a small piece of grilled haloumi or tasty cheese. It’s up to you!

The feature image is one I captured this morning when I went out with a friend (Burnt Orange cafe Mosman). I ate about half and then asked for the rest take-away to savour for lunch.

xx

What I Eat in a Day, after getting a Dietician

You can read about it in detail the About Me section of my blog, but basically after stopping swimming last year, I picked up quite a bit of weight from uneducated eating habits.

This year, I decided to get a sports dietician to help me with the transition from an athlete’s diet to an active 18 year old’s diet.

Below is what I ate yesterday, and it’s a good depiction of a healthy eating day for me.

Obviously I still have treats (especially when I go out with friends), and I’ve found that I enjoy them so much more because I’ve re-focused my normal diet around wholefoods, good carbs, healthy fats and protein.

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I started off the day with a mix-and-match breakfast. I wanted to make sure I had healthy fats as well as a good lot of protein in there.  So, I had 1 poached egg, cherry tomatoes, 1/2 avocado, 1/4 cup diced bacon fried in coconut oil.

I broke up the morning with some honey & ginger tea and a mandarin.

Then for lunch I made my green bean & bacon fry, Mmm..

To make this you will need: 

  • 1/2 cup chopped green beans
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup diced ham
  • sultanas (weird I know, but trust me)
  • chopped walnuts

Place the walnuts in a fry pan on a high heat and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Place a cover over them for 3 minutes, then add in the rest of the ingredients and fry up.

Afternoon tea was one Natalie’s Health Honey Cinnamon Cookies – I made the batch at the start of the week. I use 1/2 cup stevia instead of the 3/4 cup coconut sugar.

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Dinner was sweet potato and chickpea curry.

The recipe for this is basically the title – I just roasted some sweet potato, and threw it together over heat with coconut milk, quinoa, chickpeas, and spices.

Eating like this has made me feel so better inside and out, and allows me to really enjoy eating some of my favourite treat foods like chocolate and waffles.

xx

Green Tea Smoothie? Getting Your Greens the Yummy Way

Summer or winter I love a good smoothie (keep in mind I live in Sydney, Australia so winter isn’t really a winter).

After lots of trial and error, I have created the perfect smoothie with ingredients that have different benefits for clean eating.

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You will need:

1/3 Cup brewed green tea
Green tea is nature’s power drink, packed with anti-oxidants whilst carrying 0 calories. The low doses of caffeine keep you stimulated and awake without the negative effects that excessive amounts of coffee can bring. Green tea has also been shown to increase fat burning when drunk before exercise and prevents chances of cancer, infections, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Incorporating it into your diet is very recommended, but as I can’t stomach the taste of pure green tea, I like to add it to my smoothies.

1/4 cup Jalna pot set natural vanilla yoghurt
I love to add a small amount of creamy Jalna yoghurt to give my smoothie the taste boost that makes me love it. Don’t be fooled by half-fat yoghurts, advertising the benefits of a lower fat diet, remember that less fat means more sugar and the lack of satiety provided will make you want more.

Handful of frozen blueberries
Blueberries are little bursts of nutrients, full of fibre and important vitamins. They help prevent cancer and cholesterol problems and have also been shown to prevent heart disease. Adding a couple of handfuls to your diet each week is essential to clean eating.

1/2 a banana
Banana’s are wonderful for a low-calorie snack which still fills you up. They are associated with numerous health benefits, but perhaps the most poignant is that they have been shown to preserve memory. The brain is arguably the most important part of the human body, so including foods which boost its power is fundamental.

Heaped teaspoon of chia powder
Chia seeds have dominated the ‘clean eating’ industry since it began, with almost every superfood recipe including them. Their popularity is due to their anti-ageing properties, their help with digestion (keeps you feeling fuller longer and reducing sugar cravings), bone strength and how they help with building muscle and losing weight. This last feature of the seeds is because of their ability to absorb 10x their own weight in water, meaning they prolong hydration and improve nutrient absorption of electrolytes.

1 teaspoon of acai powder
Needless to say, acai powder is a recently discovered (by the health industry) superfood. If you haven’t seen acai powder on almost every health food restaurant menu, it’s basically a powder made from acai berries found in South America. Having all of the properties (and more) listed above for chia seeds, they are mostly associated with weight loss as they oxidise cholerestrol preventing it from clinging to arteries.

1 cup of almond milk
I love almond milk! A lot of my friends have told me its an acquired taste, and although it may be, after about a year of drinking it I think it tastes like a chocolately, nutty brew. Using unsweetened almond milk is a reduction of 40% of your calorie intake, over drinking cows milk. Although you don’t want to stick solely to almond milk (builds up lactose intolerance), incorporating it into your diet where you can is important.

xx